Access to materials collections

The National Geological Materials Collection (NGMC) includes the core, palaeontology and petrology collections.

Core storeBorehole core and sample collections

Onshore boreholes, including hydrocarbon, mining, stratigraphical, geotechnical.
Offshore boreholes, vibrocores, gravity cores, grab samples.
UK Continental Shelf (offshore) hydrocarbon wells.

AmmonitePalaeontology collections
Type and stratigraphical collection, survey collection,
micro-palaeontological slides.
Search: PalaeoSaurus online collections database
SpecimensPetrological collections
National reference collection, museum reserve (display quality) collection, building stones collection.
Search: Mineralogy & petrology sample database
Thin sectionNDA (Nirex) Geological Archive
The NDA (Nirex) geological archive was transferred from Nirex to the British Geological Survey (BGS) during 2000/2001. The archive consists of borehole cores and samples, thin and polished sections, digital data and paper records acquired by Nirex during its investigations at Sellafield and Dounreay.
A selection of paper stored in the NGRC BGS Data Catalogue

Material collections are described in the metadata system.

GeoIndex GeoIndex

Many items are individually located in their own section in the GeoIndex.

Manual searches

Where a digital index has not yet been created, specimens can be located using the registers together with the locality card index. The Leeds Registers and Keyworth Registers are by 50k map sheet and can provide a useful entry point, but the London and Scottish Registers and the Museum and Donations Registers do not.

The card index may be searched by locality name, donor, seller, and county. It will list all appropriate Register entries, and each must be searched. A given entry should include the range of specimen registration numbers, any identifications, locality & horizon details, together with the collector/donor and the date of collection/donation.

The card indexes and registers should be consulted through the Collections staff in either Keyworth or Edinburgh.


If you have any queries, please contact the NGDC. They will be happy to help with any searches.